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"Oxford as a City of Sanctuary" – Refugee Week 2011

This event is being organised by a number of people associated
with the Oxford based NGO, Asylum Welcome, and the unifying theme of the event will be ‘Oxford as a City of Sanctuary’, with the aim of promoting a dialogue amongst young people who are members of host communities and those seeking asylum themselves.

The organisers would like to invite a range of Oxford based organisations to reflect on how they support those seeking refuge in Oxford, and refugees more widely. These organisations will be asked to provide content for the event to convey or to celebrate this engagement with refugees and to share this with those present on the evening. Initial ideas for content, though by no means an
exhaustive list, include a Key-note Speaker, video diaries, pod-casts, poetry readings (e.g. Afghan and Iranian poetry), performances (drumming, samba, groups), Gaza Monologues, photographs and artwork, and also tertiary content such as a film and food from a range of different cultures. For the more formal section of the event it will be necessary to have about 1.5 hours of quality content,with someone to facilitate / introduce during the evening to keep things running smoothly and to tie everything together.

The Organisations

An initial brainstorming of organisations that we might approach includes Asylum Welcome, Oxfam, Oxford Film and Video Makers, County Music Services, Oxford Inspires, SAE, City of Sanctuary, the Social Services, the County Council, Arkt, the Refugee Studies Centre, the Oxford Hospitals, local schools including St Gregory’s, the Phoenix Cinema, Sol Samba / Bop Samba, the Pegasus Theatre, Amnesty, and the Oxford Hub. Again this list is not meant to be exhaustive.

The Venue

The Event will be held at St Gregory’s School in Cowley, Oxford. This venue provides seating for around two hundred people in a hall with a large wall screen, staging if required, and lighting. Outside there is a large circular area with impressive acoustics which will be suitable for music, dancing and anything else that requires more space. Parking is also available.